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Settled by German pioneers in the 1880s, the town bore several names–Frankfort, Roy and Fillmore–before Father Adelhelm Odermatt named it Mount Angel, an English derivation of Engelberg, a Swiss abbey where he received theological training. Roman Catholic institutions dominate the town, reflecting its ethnic origins. The spire of St. Mary's Church, in a modified Gothic style, is visible for miles around. The former St. Mary's College presently houses a convent of Benedictine sisters.
In mid-September, German heritage is celebrated at Mount Angel Oktoberfest, one of the state's oldest Oktoberfests and one of the Northwest's largest folk festivals. Visitors can enjoy traditional food and spirits, live musical performances, dancing, a car show and an arts and crafts show. For more details phone (855) 899-6338.
A 49-foot-tall glockenspiel is housed at the Edelweiss Village Building at jct. Charles and Garfield sts. The instrument plays four times daily — at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The first floor of the building displays six life-size, hand-carved wooden figures that rotate and turn to their own music.
Native Americans called the 480-foot knoll on the eastern edge of town Tapalamaho, meaning “place of communion with the Great Spirit.” Father Odermatt renamed it Mount Angel when he established Mount Angel Abbey on its slopes in 1882.
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Current Location: Mount Angel, Oregon